I was born and raised in Milwaukee, left for college, pursued a successful 40-year career in the 3 m’s- management, marketing and merchandising while living in Chicago and Toronto.
Little did I know that this creatively rich profession would prepare me for my unrealized passion to assist the elderly to enjoy this time in their lives.
I returned to Milwaukee in 2013 when I thought that my 91 year old mother should no longer live alone. There was no question as to whether I should make a major change in my life to assist her. My strong Jewish faith compelled me to “ kibud av va-eim”, honor my parents.
My return to Milwaukee gave my mother the opportunity to age in place while I worked part-time. A volunteer program sponsored by Congregation Shalom, connected me with the Sarah Chudnow Ovations community for Christmas, but it resulted in my part-time employment there for 2 and a half years creating and implementing activities for residents. I fell in love with the elderly!
As part of my work at Sarah Chudnow, I created and implemented the Holocaust Survivors Seder, which won a national award for Jewish Programming from the AJAS (https://www.ajas.org/about-us/awards-winners/) in 2018 for Jewish Programming.
I now had a heightened awareness of the silver tsunami and wondered if our Jewish community was offering enough opportunities to encourage social engagement for our seniors to avoid loneliness and isolation, that is so prevalent today.
When I met Deb Slater and Lori Kornblum, they too, had concerns that since there are so many seniors in the north shore, and we are all living longer, perhaps we should do some research on this subject. We did that, and now find it necessary to fill the void to address the social needs of our Jewish elderly community. We see a need to lay the groundwork, to encourage independence through social programs to enrich our quality of life.
Hence, L’Chaim Chaverut Clubhouse Northshore!